Outdoor Retailer Show

It was another great year the Outdoor Retailer Show. I saw a lot of fun products this year.  One of the biggest trends I saw was pack-ability.  One of the cool new product that focused on this were some new boots from Teva.  

This new boot line is called the Liffty Collection. My favorite boot in this collection is the Chair 5. This boot is super light but doesn’t sacrifice any warmth the weight of this boot is nearly half the weight of other boots on the market.  It has 250 grams of 3M Thinsulate™ LiteLoft™ in a removable liner.  This is super nice, you can remove the liner and sleep with it in your sleeping bag and not have to worry about cold boots in the morning.  These shoes pack down to the size of regular shoes so you don’t have to worry about have loads of extra space when you are traveling. http://www.teva.com/

There were loads of awesome packs at the show to be seen. Including the Karve from Osprey.  This is designed for winter sports. It has a really sleek, slim design that allows for easy lift riding and dynamic riding. It has storage for shovels, probes, and offers convenient carry options for boards and skis.  It comes in three sizes, these are the sizes in storage capacity in liters, 16 L 11 L and 6 L. http://www.ospreypacks.com/

Another cool pack that I saw was the Gambler from Camelbak.  This is another super sleek minimalist pack designed for carrying the bare essentials when sidecountry skiing or snowboarding.  It is designed to carry shovel, avalanche probe, base layers, snack, phone, wallet and keys. http://camelbak.com/


Minimalist running area has seen some awesome improvements for the winter season. Vibram FiveFingers the pioneer of minimalistic footwear has unveiled a cold weather and water resistant running style, the Lontra.  This new style is ideal for cold and wet weather running, trekking, and general outdooractivity.  It features features a water repellent laminated polyester upper with micro fleece liner for warmth and comfort. A snug fitting Neoprene heel cuff and a sewn‐in fleece footbed provide more thermal protection. Fully tapped seams and a gusset tongue ensure water resistance. http://vibramfivefingers.com/

Base layers also saw a lot of great improvements.  180s is introducing a new thermal performance technology, QuantumHeat™.   180s QuantumHeat™ uses thermal performance technology to convert body heat, moisture and natural infrared rays into thermal energy. QuantumHeat includes smart moisture management fibers that work to continuously absorb 100 percent of sweat every two seconds, as well as a technical fabric composition that delivers warmth and freedom of movement without bulk. http://www.180s.com/

Helly Hansen Base Layers now have a new fiber weaved in the garment called LIFA®.  These fibers are  softer and more efficient at keeping the skin drier for longer durations.  Unlike polyester alternatives, LIFA® pulls sweat away from the skin and moves it to the exterior so the skin stays notably more comfortable during high-intensity activities. http://hellyhansen.com/


The child carrier area also saw a great improvement.  The Piggyback Rider (a standup child carrier)  released just lastsummer saw a complete product line overhaul. Weighing less than three pounds and the size of a rolled towel, the Piggyback Rider® is the first and only child carrier that allows you to comfortably carry a child up to 60 lbs at your back. With the ease of a standard backpack, the Piggyback Rider® provides a shoulder mounted foot bar for your child to stand on, integrated grab handles for your child to hold, and a safety harness to secure your child. The new product line now includes features such as a day pack for the adult who is carrying and a hydration pack for the child and the carrying adult. http://piggybackrider.com/

This was a very small percentage of the new products that were shown at the show.  There are so many innovations being made daily in our field.  Look up your favorite brands and check out some of the new stuff they released.  Most of these products will be released in the latter end of 2012.

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Patagonia Men's Piolet GORE-TEX® Shell First impressions

I got this shell last week from Patagonia to review.  I have been wearing all around town and have gone it the snow once so far.  First I want to talk about the features and then I’ll go over what I have experienced so far.

Patagonia Piolet Jacket, Photo by Richard Keele

Key Features

  • 2-layer nylon GORE-TEX® Performance Shell
  • Helmet-compatible, 2-way-adjustable hood with laminated visor for optimal visibility in bad conditions
  • Touch Point System™ embeds cord locks in the hood and hem for quick adjustments to seal out rain and snow (patented)
  • Modified Y-Joint™ sleeve construction for overhead mobility without jacket lifting
  • Pockets: Harness- and pack-compatible pocket configuration (one chest; two handwarmers) and pit zips feature Slim Zip installation with watertight, coated zippers for reduced zipper bulk and weight; internal zippered security pocket
  • Cuffs have low-profile closure with pleated gusset
  • Shell: 2-layer, 2.7-oz 40-denier GORE-TEX® Performance Shell 100% nylon. Reinforcements: 4.3-oz 70-denier GORE-TEX® Performance Shell 100% nylon. Shell and reinforcements have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 644 g (22.7 oz)

I have been using this shell for about a week and a half.  I have mainly just been wearing it around town and such.  I have taken it on a trip up to the canyon in the snow.  This jacket is super comfortable, provides great waterproofness, and is fairly light weight. I fine this jacket to be extremely comfortable.  It has lots of places to make adjustments, to make feel just right for you.  I really liked the adjustable cuffs, you can leave them open when you want to vent some heat or close them up when you want to keep out the snow and water.  The pit zips are also great to vent out some heat.  I haven’t been in any really adverse conditions with this shell yet but it has GORE-TEX® linings so you know its going to hold up pretty well.  I have however been in some pretty windy conditions and this jacket doesn’t let any wind in. I really like the pack weight of this shell.  Some of the other GORE-TEX® shells I have had were much heavier; this jacket is fairly light and compresses down to a reasonable size.

I hope to go hit the powder soon and test this more intensely but it just hasn’t snowed forever here in the Utah Valley, so hopefully that will happen soon.

Check out this video from  Patagonia’s Youtube describing The Piolet’s key features

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